Sippican Cottage

Close this search box.
starch factory maine 1280x720
Picture of sippicancottage


A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything


Hail fellow well met.

Let’s talk about something important. Joe.

Oh yes. Coffee Joe. Java, jamoke, kaffa, kahveh, sludge, silt, bilge, mud and a shot-in-the-arm. Mud in your eye. Hojo, qahwah, latte, moche, just gimme that coffea whatever you call it.
Look, I’m not fooling here. Listen to me. Coffee is not a beverage. Coffee is the eighth sacrament. Gimme Gimme Gimme.

Ray Charles knew:

In the morning when the sun comes up
She brings me coffee in my favorite cup
That’s how I know, how I know, Hallelujah I just love her so.

A blind man could see it. Howsa ’bout a cup?

Let’s lay down some rules. First and foremost, we lay a pistol on the table for anyone that approaches with anything decaffeinated. You pod people that drink that dyspeptic dishwater stay clear, I’m warning you. I need that jolt, and I don’t mean soda.

Second, there was a period of time in this world when the idea of instant coffee made a certain amount of sense, I guess. People watched two guys named Neil walk on the moon, and were inspired to drink Tang and so forth, and the idea of Nescafe didn’t seem all that strange. At the time, you’d have to go to a disreputable diner to get a cup of ready made coffee, and it was probably fresh during the Truman administration, and been warming since, or you’d have to get out a real percolator, grind some beans, and make your own.

They are now opening up Starbuck franchises in the Men’s Rooms of Dunkin Donuts. You can drive up to every other window in any city and get coffee thrust out at you. Men named Neil do not trod the moon any longer. Outlaw instant coffee. Bring back the death penalty for serving it. Perhaps an amendment to the Constitution is in order. They want to amend the Constitution to prohibit flag burning. I say, give an exception if the burning flag is used to heat water for joe.
I prefer Dunkin Donuts to Starbucks. I go in, I say: Give me coffee. They say: Give me money. It happens. I leave. We are both content.

Go into Starbucks. You are disoriented. The signs tell you you can get a pineapple chutney lotus blossom chive and dill brisket rhododenron flavored latte grown at a “fair trade” plantation where the inmates eat gruel twice a day, instead of once like everywhere else, I guess. I didn’t know I wanted that. I thought I wanted coffee. But if you go up to the counter, the girl with the jewelry in her nose snorts at you if you order coffee. I’m not sure I’m supposed to order coffee from her anyway. Her name tag says she’s a “barista,” and I assume that’s Spanish for lawyer, because she seems put out by my request for coffee. I look for people behind the counter with aprons and coffee urns, but they are scarcer than non-relatives at the barista’s indie band shows.

Hie thee to Dunkin Donuts. Approach the counter. Hold out five quarters. I guarantee you will walk out with a cup of joe without saying a word.

Some lady spilled coffee on her lap once, and sued McDonald’s. She won a pile in the misery lottery. She said the coffee was too hot. Now, I drink my coffee cooler than most. I prefer the european method of brewing, with water well below boiling to make the coffee, and it’s about ready to drink when it finishes its journey through the glorious beans.

McDonald’s makes American coffee. Bubbling hot. God bless’em. Some people like real hot coffee, and some people add milk, or cream, and so forth, which cools the coffee. Coffee to go is often transported to remote locations before being enjoyed, and it’s really not possible to serve it too hot, as if you prefer it cool, as I do, you can just wait a little. But if you like it hot, it’s gotta start hot.

McDonald’s doesn’t serve superheated nuclear power plant reactor coolant with a lump of lava in it. It’s not even boiling water, which means it’s less than 212 degrees. If you stab yourself with a spork is that McDonald’s fault? If you eat the fish sandwich with the wrapper on it, and get indigestion, is that McD’s fault? I say no.

There may be a circle in hell for people that sue over the mundane, if it’s not already full of lawyers. But hell in the afterlife is not good enough for her, the old lady with the hot lap. She needs punishment now. And I decree: NO MORE COFFEE FOR YOU. That’ll learn you. Your money won’t buy you happiness if it won’t buy you coffee.

When I was a wee laddie, shopping was a rough go for my mother. She had four kids, and we ate like we were in a contest throughout most of our waking hours. Pre-made food was expensive, and rare, and mom bought raw materials, food ore that needed smelting, not frozen pizzas. She’s take us on her shopping expeditions, and had to make many stops to get all she needed. I remember one to this day. The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company. That’s the A & P to you young folks. The place looked vaguely Victorian, and there were flies buzzing around mounds of lettuce and so forth. But you’d buy coffee beans there, raw, and as you were checking out, there was a grinder right in the checkout aisle.

I imagine that when I’m a million years old, and I’ve forgotten who I am, and everyone I know, and every other thing that ever happened to me, and everything that happened to everyone else, I’ll still remember that glorious aroma, and be content.

Then I’ll eat the puzzle in the Nursing Home community room.

5 Responses

  1. A friend directed me to your blog today and I’m hooked. I’m excited, laughing, emotionally touched and thoroughly enjoying your writing and perspective. I feel like I’m starting a new book after reading your posting “Pelargonium.” I’m now going back and starting your blog from the beginning, a chapter a day.

  2. Hello Queen Vee- Thanks for reading and commenting.

    I think coffee is as, or can be as profound a ceremony as any Japeanese tea thingie.

    The Irish thing my family loves is to put the kettle on for tea; it is much the same.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thanks for commenting! Everyone's first comment is held for moderation.